See the Glossary for more terms.
With these funding opportunity announcements, you can submit an investigator-initiated application in a topic of your choice.
Just in—new parent program announcements for the following grant types:
Use these funding opportunity announcements to submit an investigator-initiated application in a topic of your choice.
On January 5, you can start submitting your application to Grants.gov if your FOA is ready. (Note that for the next AIDS receipt date on January 7, you'll still use the old FOAs and Adobe Forms-A.)
Expect more parent PAs soon. Here's where to find them:
(New on June 18, 2010: NIAID now accepts training grant applications on September 25 for non-AIDS and January 7 for AIDS-related applications).
Training grants are electronic for the first time.
NIH also reissued the FOAs for training grants (T32 and T35). Starting in January, you will apply electronically for the first time, but not for NIAID. September 25 is our only deadline for training grant applications.
Read more about applying for investigator-initiated research versus an Institute initiative at Choose Approach and Find FOAs in the Strategy for NIH Funding.
As of December 14, NIH posted 40 cell lines you can use for NIH-funded research.
They've arrived: the NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry now has cell lines you can use for NIH-funded research.
Under the new NIH Guidelines on Human Stem Cell Research, NIH posted an initial 13 cell lines on December 2, and another 27 on December 14.
For those of you interested in or affected by this news, here's a summary of the December 2, 2009, Guide notice:
More cell lines are coming. You can see which ones organizations are proposing or have already submitted at NIH's Summary of Requests.
Do you have a cell line you would like NIH to approve? To submit a request to the Advisory Committee to the Director, fill out NIH Form 2890.
Though NIH is still working out details of its submission process, we have initial approval information at How to Get a Human Embryonic Stem Cell Line Approved. It covers embryos donated in and outside the U.S. during different time frames.
Pathogens and vectors with high clinical and biomedical significance are priorities for sequencing.
We'd like to hear from you. NIAID and the National Human Genome Research Institute want to know your priorities for genomic sequencing of human eukaryotic pathogens and invertebrate vectors of infectious diseases.
A working group will review nominations from the extramural community three times a year, giving the highest priority to pathogens and vectors with high clinical and biomedical significance.
To learn about the nomination process, read the November 18, 2009, Guide notice.
When the weather's really bad, we take it in stride. Following its usual practice, NIH is letting you submit your application late if the recent snowstorms prevented you from applying on time.
Include a cover letter noting the reason for the delay—no need to ask for permission. Just make sure the delay does not exceed the time your institution is closed. NIH reiterated this policy in the December 9, 2009, and December 22, 2009, Guide notices.
The Worksheet includes a checklist and a sample of an acceptable plan.
NIH's new Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section (PDF) walks you through the steps of creating the vertebrate animals section of your Research Plan.
It covers all the required ground and gives you a checklist and sample plan. One helpful feature is a description of the role of your peer reviewers, so you can see how your animal section can affect your application's review and score.
For more help with your application, check out How to Write an Application Involving Research Animals, which covers additional topics such as considering alternatives to using animals, getting an animal welfare assurance, and working with your IACUC.
If you need to know human subjects regulations worldwide, check out the International Compilation of Human Research Protections. HHS updated this comprehensive resource, which lists human subjects laws and regulations from 96 countries and standards from international and regional organizations.
The new 2010 edition adds five new countries: Dominica, Guatemala, Honduras, Kyrgyzstan, and Qatar as well as Srpska, a division of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The new Beacon Community Program will award cooperative agreements to 15 non-profit or government organizations.
NIH's parent agency, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), plans to spend $235 million to build and strengthen health IT infrastructure for critical resources such as electronic medical records.
Funded by the Recovery Act, the new Beacon Community Program will award cooperative agreements to 15 non-profit or government organizations in different geographic areas.
To learn more, see the December 2, 2009, press release HHS Secretary Sebelius Announces Plans to Establish Health IT "Beacon Communities," and go to Health Information Technology.
Twitter is a popular Web-based social networking tool.
Now you can get news and links from NIAID's Twitter feed at @NIAIDNews. We are posting news releases, job postings, clinical trials, and special events.
You can watch the feed online or get more options with a free account:
Twitter is a popular Web-based social networking tool that enables people to send and receive short blog messages. Learn more at Twitter's Getting Started Frequently Asked Questions.
As you may have heard, many government agencies are using Twitter to post updates about emergencies and other time-sensitive information.
The farther reviewers are removed from your topic area, the harder you'll have to work to convince them of its significance.
If you read our previous article, The Art of Application, you saw our advice about choosing a high-impact problem for your application.
Now we can help you with that critical next step: writing your Research Plan. We've updated our Strategy to Write the Research Plan in the Strategy for NIH Funding with a new strategy to help you make your application appeal to its audience, your peer reviewers.
Get the Chemistry Going
Is getting the chemistry right important? You bet—your application's appeal is probably its most important determinant of success. While marketing a product is an imperfect analogy, it's the best one we can think of for illustrating the importance of creating a document that will spark enthusiasm in your reviewers.
What makes an application alluring is no secret: it's in an area reviewers feel is important, is written so they can easily grasp its concepts, and has coherence—for example, beginning investigators should propose a modest budget and a limited amount of work that is well within their expertise.
While none of that is new, shorter applications are. No one knows for sure what reviewers will look for, but we believe that thinking and presenting your thoughts strategically can give you a clear advantage. Strategy to Write the Research Plan in the Strategy for NIH Funding covers these and related topics:
Here's a sample of what you'll find.
Significance—Know How Much to Highlight
Know how much information to include on significance—the importance of the problem to the field. While your reviewers must see your research as significant, the amount you will write depends on your reviewers' expertise.
Knowing reviewers' perspective is more important than ever before—including their views of your project and bigger questions in the field.
Figure out how to convince them that your project is high significance and you are the person to do the work. You'll do that by giving them the information they need based on their perspective.
Avoid common administrative shortfalls that can result in our rejecting your application.
Unfortunately, yes. NIH takes administrative details seriously, so you must too. You don't want to submit an outstanding application and then have it waylaid by an administrative blooper.
Avoid common pitfalls that can derail your application. Simple things like too small a font or a late application without a cover letter and a valid reason can result in NIH's returning your application to you without a review.
Of course, some administrative shortfalls would present a more serious problem, such as missing documentation.
Whether large or small, pay close attention to formatting and other application rules. Then check your application carefully before submitting it.
Learn more in the following sections of the Strategy for NIH Funding:
Feel free to send us a question at firstname.lastname@example.org. After responding to you, we may include your question in the newsletter, incorporate it into the NIAID Research Funding site, or both.
Don't list it as other support, but add the time of the supplement to the time and effort of the parent grant. Also include the supplement in the grant's total dollar amount.
"Should I follow NIH's instructions or the NIAID site for page limits?"—Laura Severse, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
For the final word on page limits and other application requirements, check your funding opportunity announcement. While we have made a lot of progress updating our Web site, you may still find outdated information.
Most opportunities use NIH's new standard Table of Page Limits, though rarely you will see an exception.
"If I originally applied before January 25, 2009, may I resubmit twice?"—an anonymous reader
Because you sent your original application before January 25, 2009, you are allowed to resubmit twice, but you're running out of time. You must send your second resubmission by January 7, 2011.
NIH now limits applicants to one resubmission. For details on the policy and exceptions, see the October 8, 2008, Guide notice.
See these and older announcements at NIAID Funding Opportunities List.
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Last Updated October 06, 2011
Last Reviewed December 23, 2009